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The Beacon of Hope

Built in 1848, Cape Otway Lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse on the mainland of Australia. Perched on the towering cliffs overlooking where the Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean collide, the lightstation was built in response to the hundreds of lives that were lost in shipwrecks off Cape Otway.

In the 19th century, many migrants who had spent months on a ship travelling to Australia, would see Cape Otway as their first sight of land.

Hundreds of lives were lost in shipwrecks off Cape Otway – a sad but fascinating history which led to the building of the Lightstation on the coast at the foot of the impenetrable forests of the Otways.

The Cape Otway Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1994 and has been replaced with a low powered solar light that sits on the cliff in front of the tower.

Check out the Cape Otway Lightstation for more information. The website has some great stories on Tales of the Cape.


Footnote & References

  1. Cape Otway Lightstation, https://www.lightstation.com/
  2. Life at Cape Otway Lighthouse, by Margaret Burin, 6 December 2011, https://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2011/12/06/3384589.htm